RANGERS match winner Danilo has thanked the sports psychologist he consulted after suffering his horror face injury against St Johnstone last month for helping him get back to his very best after netting a dramatic injury-time goal in the cinch Premiership encounter with Hearts.

Brazilian forward Danilo came off the bench at the start of the second half in the top flight encounter with Steven Naismith’s side at Ibrox this afternoon and rounded off a spirited fightback when he nodded home a James Tavernier cross in the third minute of added on time.

The improbable triumph – Philippe Clement’s team had been trailing 1-0 with three minutes of regulation time left on the clock – ensured the hosts cut Celtic’s lead at the top of the league to just five points with 28 games of the 2023/24 campaign still remaining.

Danilo, who is still wearing a protective mask and attempting to get himself back to full fitness, is grateful for the support which he received from the mental coach he went to after being hospitalised in the Premiership win at McDiarmid Park at the start of September.   

READ MOREClement pleased with Rangers’ resilience in dramatic win over Hearts

But the 24-year-old – a £5.6m signing from Dutch club Feyenoord during the summer – reckons the dramatic Hearts win showed the steely resolve that exists within the Rangers squad and he is optimistic that good times lie ahead because of that

“It was a special night for us,” he said.  I’m just glad we’ve got the three points at home. Getting that late goal was a signal for us, it shows our spirit and the character that we have. The game lasts 90 minutes, but we didn’t give up. As a team, we did a really great job to get the three points.

“It’s just amazing to hear the fans appreciate your and sing a song for you. It shows that we fight and have the spirit, so bringing the fans behind us is just amazing. It’s just great to play for this club. We’re taking it step by step. We did great today and also in the last two games so we’ll look to the next game and see what happens.

The Herald:

“That’s what the coach has said. He wants us to go week by week, month by month. We’re looking forward to our next game already. And hopefully we will get the three points again. The spirit of the group is great. We’re just try to keep making each other feel positive.

“You know, with our qualities we can make it happen. I think Tavernier today did a brilliant job. He scored the penalty and gave the final assist for my header so the mentality of the group is great. We’re just trying to keep that belief in each other, no matter who starts and who is on the bench. The group is amazing.

“The gaffer told us at half-time that if we keep believing in ourselves, we can do it. We thank the fans for staying behind us too. They kept pushing us on and thankfully we did it for them.”

READ MORERangers 2 Hearts 1: Danilo and Tavernier magic seal unlikely comeback

Danilo added: “When I wear the mask, it’s like a totally different guy. I really like it just now. I’d just like to thank the docs because they did a great job. Will I keep on wearing it on my face when I don’t need to? I’m too handsome! 

“I also have a mental coach who helps me every Tuesday. When I had my surgery, I knew my moment would come. I was keeping in touch with the doc every day.  She encouraged me to make duels.

“She knew this moment would happen and then it would be about my reaction. I just kept myself positive and I think that helped me a lot. During training, it’s something different but in the games you get adrenaline. I don’t know how long I’ll keep wearing the mask. 

“The mental coach has helped me a lot, it’s changed my mentality since I had the surgery on my face. She just keep me feeling brave and believing in myself. I’m glad that I’m scored again with my head because she was saying to keep remembering that the last time I scored it was with my head.  

“I also had a mental coach before in Holland who helped me with a lot of situations. It’s great to have one. It helps to clear your head. If you have some problems then there is someone to share, even though you have a wife. I’m really happy to have someone to help me after my surgery.”